- The Instagram tray now offers “Gift Card” or “Food Orders” Stories stickers
- Messenger Rooms and Lives for online events by Facebook
- Google has removed Reviews and Q & A from GMB, but has enabled free selling
As COVID-19 has given a boost to digital commerce since more and more people are moving online, digital giants like Facebook and Google have adjusted their services to support businesses and meet their needs.
The Instagram tray now offers “Gift Card” or “Food Orders” Stories stickers
Instagram has provided not only tips for businesses to reach out to potential customers by utilizing Stories, but also features that can be of service. All you need to do is choose a delivery partner and add a link to your product. After that, users can buy from you by just clicking on your Stories.
You can also add “Gift Cards,” “Order Food,” or “Donate” buttons to your Instagram profile. These features are available for business accounts only.
Messenger Rooms and Lives for online events by Facebook
In his latest Facebook Live Stream, Mark Zuckerberg stated that Facebook’s top priority is helping users stay connected with people they care about. These people can be your customers, too.
As the popularity of video content has been growing during the lockdown, Facebook has announced upgrades in functionality for video conferencing and running online events.
Very soon you’ll be able to try new forms of interaction with customers by opening Messenger Rooms. They’re similar to Zoom rooms, you just don’t have to schedule them. It’s an opportunity for genuine communication with customers—you can create kind of a virtual cafe, and instead of dropping by for a small one-on-one chat, people can now feel the atmosphere by tasting delivered coffee along with other “visitors.”
Also, Facebook has brought back the Live With option, so you can invite guests to Live events. For example, you can run a workshop with a manicure artist, chef, or yoga instructor to attract subscribers to your brand page with fresh useful content.
Facebook developers are currently working hard to make it possible to run online events live. This feature is about to be announced, so you can already start planning ways to leverage it for your business.
Google has removed Reviews and Q & A from GMB, but has enabled free selling
Google My Business asks brands affected by the crisis to label themselves as “Temporarily closed,” emphasizing this won’t lead to a decrease of local search ranking. It encourages businesses to provide credible information without taking risks.
Google is currently focusing on making information on Google Search reliable and “prioritizing critical services.” As a result, some features have been removed from Google My Business. New reviews won’t be visible on GMB pages and there were no announcements as to whether they will be after the quarantine. The Q & A feature has been removed, too.
Having said that, Google is actually aiming at helping small businesses. Starting this week, it’s free to sell on Google. Retailers can connect with millions of potential customers via free listings even if they don’t advertise. This initiative puts merchants on equal footing and makes it easier to switch to online sales.
These updates are a gold mine for getting creative and experimental and leveraging social media marketing to build relationships with customers. To get a regular digest of the opportunities for franchise and multi-location businesses during the crisis, subscribe to our Emergency Marketing Center.